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National Labor Relations Board v. Local 810

decided: May 12, 1972.


Hays, Mansfield and Mulligan, Circuit Judges. Mansfield, C. J. (concurring).

Author: Hays


The National Labor Relations Board filed this application for enforcement of its order directing respondent Local 810 to cease and desist from conducting a secondary boycott in violation of Section 8(b)(4)(i) and (ii)(B) of the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 158(b) (4)(i) and (ii)(B) (1970). The charging parties, Sid Harvey, Inc. and Sid Harvey Brooklyn Corp., intervened, urging that the application be granted. The Union cross-petitioned to set aside the Board's order. We deny enforcement of the Board's order and grant respondent's cross-petition to set it aside.

I. The Facts

The Trial Examiner's findings of fact were adopted by the Board and are supported by substantial evidence. These findings establish the following:

A. The Initial Dispute

An employee of Sid Harvey Supply, Inc. was discharged on February 20, 1970, and the Union went on strike after the company refused to reinstate him. The Union began picketing Supply that day, and on March 10 commenced picketing Sid Harvey, Inc. In May and June, members of the Union picketed and distributed handbills in front of stores operated by Sid Harvey Brooklyn Corp., Sid Harvey Nassau, Inc., and Sid Harvey Suffolk, Inc. The picket signs and leaflets, and the verbal exhortations of the pickets, requested the public not to buy Sid Harvey products. The pickets were successful in persuading some of the potential customers of one store operated by Nassau not to patronize that store, and also prevailed on carriers not to make deliveries to Inc. and Brooklyn. On June 11 the Union discontinued the picketing of Inc., Brooklyn, Nassau, and Suffolk after the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York temporarily enjoined the Union from picketing the four corporations in violation of § 8(b)(4)(i) and (ii)(B).

B. Relationships Among the Sid Harvey Companies

1. Structure and Operations

Supply, the company which the Union struck, and the four companies the Union picketed before the issuance of the temporary injunction, are a part of a complex of interrelated corporations operating on a nationwide basis. The Sid Harvey corporations are engaged in the reconditioning, distribution, and sale of air conditioning and heating equipment to trade users. While the Sid Harvey corporations are not totally interdependent, they constitute what is essentially a vertically integrated operation, or to use the popular term for their relationship to each other, they are engaged in a straight-line operation.

The keystone of the Sid Harvey organization is Inc., located in Valley Stream, Long Island. Inc., and Sid Harvey Midwest, Inc., located in Illinois, are engaged in the business of rebuilding and reconditioning air conditioning and heating equipment and parts for such equipment. Inc. obtains the used equipment that it rebuilds from the sales companies within the Sid Harvey group.

The equipment rebuilt by Inc. is warehoused and then distributed by Supply to the various Sid Harvey sales companies. Supply does not distribute only Inc. goods, but all of Inc.'s goods are distributed by Supply. Supply distributes only to sales companies within the Sid Harvey group.

Although the record is not entirely clear, it appears that there are approximately 20 sales companies in the Sid Harvey group, many of which, like Nassau, Brooklyn, and Suffolk, have corporate names containing the words "Sid Harvey." These sales companies receive from Inc. via Supply all the rebuilt equipment they sell. The greater part of the new equipment sold by the sales companies is obtained indirectly from the manufacturers through Supply, with the remaining portion obtained directly from manufacturers. Thus, of Nassau's sales, 40% represents sales of Inc.'s rebuilt equipment, and 60% is of new equipment; 60% of the new equipment sold is obtained through Supply. The corresponding figures for Brooklyn are 20%, 80%, and 85-90%, and for Suffolk are 33%, 67%, and 70%.

2. Control

Stephen Harvey owns 100% of the voting stock of Inc., and is chairman of the board of directors, president, and treasurer. Supply is owned by fourteen Sid Harvey sales companies located in the Northeast. Stephen Harvey has voting control of nine of these sales companies, including Brooklyn and Nassau. Collectively those nine own 73% of the stock of Supply. Stephen Harvey is chairman of the board and an officer of each of these sales companies, and is chairman of the board and treasurer of Supply. Although Stephen Harvey has a commanding position in the interlocking ...

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